I am very tired of theists attempting to poison the well of atheism by erroneously asserting that Hitler was an atheist. Even if he was an atheist, such a fallacious claim would fail to demonstrate that atheism (a lack of belief in gods) was responsible for any of the atrocities committed by Hitler. Yet, as will be clearly and unequivocally established, Christianity played a pivotal part in the heinous atrocities committed against the Jewish people in World War II.
Hitler was a Christian. This undeniable fact couldn’t be made any clearer than by his own confessions. Yet, I will not merely present you with these testimonies, as damning as they happen to be on their own, but I also intend on furnishing you with a brief history of the inherent anti-Semitism of the Christian religion. I will do so to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that Hitler and his Christian Nazi Party were acting in complete concordance with traditional Christian anti-Semitism.
To begin, here are just a few of Hitler’s Christian confessions:
“Besides that, I believe one thing: there is a Lord God! And this Lord God creates the peoples.”  ~Adolf Hitler
“We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out”  ~Adolf Hitler
“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” 
“The greatness of Christianity did not arise from attempts to make compromises with those philosophical opinions of the ancient world which had some resemblance to its own doctrine, but in the unrelenting and fanatical proclamation and defense of its own teaching.” 
“His [the Jew’s] life is of this world only and his mentality is as foreign to the true spirit of Christianity as is character was foreign to the great Founder of this new creed two thousand years ago. And the Founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of His estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God; because then, as always, they used religion as a means of advancing their commercial interests. But at that time Christ was nailed to the Cross for his attitude towards the Jews…” 
Over and above these solid testimonies, there are other equally strong pieces of evidence that indicate that Hitler was a Christian, like the fact that his soldiers all wore the slogan, ‘Gott Mit Uns’ (God with us) on their belts, that his birthday was “celebrated from the pulpits until his death,” as Hitchens so eloquently put it, and that the Nazis published their own slightly revised Christian bible.  As the late great Hitchens has already addressed many of these uncomfortable facts, I would now like to move onto an assessment of the Nazi’s horrendous treatment of the Jews in light of Christian history.
Christian anti-Semitism (From the Beginning of the Christian Era)
“His blood be upon us [Jews] and our children” ~“Matthew” 27:25
Prior to Constantine’s legitimization of the Christian religion in the fourth century, Christian anti-Semitism was confined to the canonical and non-canonical works of Christian authors and Church fathers. From the fifth century onward, the fantasies of the ante-Nicene fathers began to manifest into brutal violence.
In the first volume of my three volume book series, (I Am Christ), I trace the concentration camps of World War II all the way back to the Gospel of “John.” In that book, I said:
From all of the evidence available in the volumes of historical works, both Christian and non-Christian, it is clear that there is an unbroken chain of hatred, intolerance, and racism toward the Jews, which began with “John’s” Gospel (see also the Synoptic gospels) and continued all the way down into the twentieth century, ending with Hitler’s bloody campaign against the Church’s most despised enemies. 
More than a few bible scholars have made mention of the virulent anti-Semitism of John’s gospel. This anonymous and falsely named piece of work goes beyond its synoptic counterparts (Matthew, Mark and Luke) to directly accuse the Jewish people of being the “sons of Satan” (John 8:44), thereby demonizing the Jewish people and opening the door to a millennia of Jewish suffering at the hands of credulous Christian maniacs.
In Porter’s Dictionary of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation, Porter notes:
…particularly within the post-Holocaust growing sensitivity to the history and consequences of Christian anti-Judaism, has been the concern about the anti-Judaism or even (potential) anti-Semitism of the [John’s] Gospel; its characteristic antithetical use of ‘the Jews’ (NB 8:34–47), hardly neutralized by appeals to 3:16 and 4:22, has earned it the epithet ‘the father of the anti-Semitism of the Christians’: (Bieringer 2001). 
Some scholars have sought to make sense of the anti-Semitic rhetoric in John by way of a historical exegesis of the text. At around the time John was written, toward the end of the first century, Christians were being expelled from the Synagogues for the heresy of worshipping a false messiah.  It was at this moment in history, many speculate, Christianity broke completely away from its parent religion, Judaism.
In Robert Kysar’s Voyages with John, he enunciates the anti-Semitism within the Johannine community and also looks at some of the theories that have sought to explain the context of the origins of anti-Jewish racism amongst Christians in general, saying:
Over twelve years ago Samuel Sandmel correctly observed, “John is widely regarded as either the most anti-Semitic or at least the most overtly anti-Semitic of the gospels.” Little has been done to ameliorate that harsh judgment since it was first written. While efforts have been made to soften the impact of the tone of John when it comes to Jews and Judaism, the fact remains that a reading of the gospel tends to confirm Sandmel’s judgment. Still, recent theories for understanding the historical setting of the writing of the Fourth Gospel do offer some ways of interpreting the harshness with which the gospel treats Jews and Judaism. Such theories do not change the tone of the gospel but offer a way of explaining that tone. 
The historical setting Kysar was referring to pertained to the expulsion of the Johannine Christians from the Synagogues, as he explains in the following words:
An increasingly clear picture emerges from all these studies grounded in the hypothesis that the gospel was written in response to the exclusion of the Johannine church from the synagogue and the subsequent dialogue between these two religious parties. The subject of the picture is a defensive and threatened Christian community, attempting to reshape its identity isolated from the synagogue and its Jewish roots. 
But Christian anti-Semitism cannot be laid solely on the shoulders of the anonymous author of John, as the passion narratives contained in all four gospels were also co-conspirators in the crimes committed against Jewish families. To illustrate this fact we have the testimonies of various Church fathers.
“He (Jesus Christ) made known the one and only true God, His Father, and underwent the passion, and endured the cross at the hands of the Christ-killing Jews…”  ~Ignatius of Antioch (2nd Century Apostolic Father)
Further, the second century Church father and apologist Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with the Jewish philosopher Trypho, said:
“For other nations have not inflicted on us and on Christ this wrong to such an extent as you have, who in very deed are the authors of the wicked prejudice against the Just One, and us who hold by Him. For after that you had crucified Him, the only blameless and righteous Man,– through whose stripes those who approach the Father by Him are healed, –when you knew that He had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven, as the prophets foretold He would, you not only did not repent of the wickedness which you had committed…” 
Going into the fifth Christian century, the racism of the Church continued with Pope Leo “the Great,” who, in an Easter Sermon on the Passion of Christ, exhorted:
“And when morning was come all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.” This morning, O ye Jews, was for you not the rising, but the setting of the sun, nor did the wonted daylight visit your eyes, but a night of blackest darkness brooded on your naughty hearts. This morning overthrew for you the temple and its altars, did away with the Law and the Prophets, destroyed the Kingdom and the priesthood, turned all your feasts into eternal mourning. For ye resolved on a mad and bloody counsel, ye “fat bulls,” ye “many oxen,” ye “roaring” wild beasts, ye rabid “dogs,” to give up to death the Author of life and the LORD of glory; and, as if the enormity of your fury could be palliated by employing the verdict of him, who ruled your province, you lead Jesus bound to Pilate’s judgment, that the terror-stricken judge being overcome by your persistent shouts, you might choose a man that was a murderer for pardon, and demand the crucifixion of the Saviour of the world.” 
Also in the fifth century, John Chrysostom, a most vile and capricious Church father, in his work, Orations Against The Jews, wrote:
And the Jews are more savage than any highwaymen; they do greater harm to those who have fallen among them. They did not strip off their victim’s clothes nor inflict wounds on his body as did those robbers on the road to Jericho. The Jews have mortally hurt their victim’s soul, inflicted on it ten thousand wounds, and left it lying in the pit of ungodliness.
Although I have only provided a few of the litany of examples available, anti-Semitic rhetoric permeated the very fabric of Christian history and was eventually the inspiration for the founder of the Protestant Church, Martin Luther, who told Protestant Christians that they would be at fault if they didn’t slaughter Jews. 
Further still, citing Luther’s own words from his polemic, On the Jews and their Lies, and the work of one of Luther’s biographers, Robert Michael, who documented various speeches spewed into the ears of Luther’s listeners, we suffer the following racist profanities:
“…the Jews are a base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth.”  They are full of the “devil’s faeces …which they wallow in like swine.”  The synagogue was a “defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut …”  He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fi re, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness,  afforded no legal protection,  and these “poisonous envenomed worms” should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time. 
In Louis A. Ruprecht Jr’s This Tragic Gospel – How John Corrupted the Heart of Christianity, he remarks on the similarity between Luther’s hatred of the Jews and the racist rhetoric of John’s gospel, saying:
First, then, to his declaration of war on Jews, Luther ’s evolving anti-Semitism is legendary and assuredly represents one of the darkest chapters in this polemicist ’ s long career. Luther argues against the Jews precisely as John’s Jesus did. 
Having successfully connected the anti-Semitism of John to the founder of the Protestant Church, all we need do now is establish a connection between Luther’s racism and Hitler’s.
To confirm this association, I call upon the testimony of the former Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, William Inge. The late Dean said of the atrocities committed by Hitler and his Nazi Party:
“If we wish to find a scapegoat on whose shoulders we may lay the miseries which Germany has brought on the world, I am more and more convinced that the worst evil genius of that country, is not Hitler or Bismarck or Frederick the Great, but Martin Luther.” 
But this is just one learned man’s opinion, right? Wrong. Numerous scholars and commentators have remarked on the Lutheran origin of Hitler’s anti-Semitism, no less Hitler himself:
The great protagonists are those who fight for their ideas and ideals despite the fact that they receive no recognition at the hands of their contemporaries. They are the men whose memories will be enshrined in the hearts of the future generations….To this group belong not only the genuinely great statesmen but all the great reformers as well. Beside Frederick the Great we have such men as Martin Luther and Richard Wagner. 
Despite the overwhelming evidence that Hitler and his Nazi Party were heavily influenced by Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic teachings, and the present consensus amongst historical scholars, which rests upon this mountain of evidence, a handful of Christian scholars have sought in vain to draw petty distinctions between Hitler’s anti-Semitism and Martin Luther’s.
Martin Brecht, for example, argued that there was a vast difference between Hitler’s anti-Semitism and Martin Luther’s. For Luther, Brecht argued, the rejection of Christ was the significant source of contempt, whereas for Hitler it was purely racial.  Yet such hollow distinctions are washed away not only by the wealth of evidence indicating the Nazi’s admiration for Luther, but the direct influence that Christian anti-Semitism had on Hitler and his Christian Nazi Party.
Notwithstanding his honesty, the good Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral was too short-sighted to see, lest admit, that the roots of violent anti-Semitism didn’t begin with Martin Luther, but in the very building blocks of his beloved religion. Was he ignorant of the vile and racist words of Justin Martyr, John Chrysostom and the majority of bigoted Christian fathers, who all railed against the Jews with the ferocious fervour of Hitler himself? Did he not read of the atrocities committed by St. Cyril of Alexandria in the fifth century that saw Jewish families put to the sword? Surely he had read of the Crusaders’ barbarism toward the Jews along the road to their bloodthirsty war with the equally bloodthirsty Muslims of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and all of the countless anti-Semitic edicts enunciated by Church councils throughout the centuries, edicts all based upon the very foundations of a rotten and racist religion.
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 8:17-20
Presented in the illuminating light of its proper historical context, one can see that the rotten fruit of Nazi anti-Semitism was, at least in large part, born from Hitler’s conviction in his Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, and the poisonous tree of the anti-Semitic Christian religion. You may, as much as you wish, continue to assert that Hitler was an atheist, but may not do so with assistance of any kind of rational, available or tangible evidence, for such evidence eviscerates such a ridiculous claim, and evidence, although representing the theist’s most feared and despised enemy, is the root of reason and truth and truthfully speaking, Hitler was a devout Christian, right down to his brutal slaughtering of the “Christ-killing” Jews.
- Max Domarus & Patrick Romane. The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary. Bolchazy-Carducci. (2007). P. 499.
- Adolf Hitler. Speech in Berlin. October 24, 1933.
- Norman H. Baynes. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler. Vol.1. Oxford University Press (1942). pp. 19-20.
- Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf. Hurst and Blackett Ltd. (1939). p. 275.
- Ibid. 240.
- Susannah Heschel. The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany. Princeton University Press. (2008) Chapter 3: Projects of the Institute.
- Michael Sherlock. I Am Christ: The Crucifixion – Painful Truths. Charles River Press. (2012). p. 182.
- Stanley E. Porter. Dictionary of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation. Routledge (2007). p. 182.
- Lance Byron Richey. Roman Imperial Ideology and the Gospel of John. The Catholic Biblical Association of America. (2007). p. 63.
- Robert Kysar. Voyages in John – Charting the Fourth Gospel. Baylor University Press. (2005). p. 147.
- p. 153.
- The Apostlic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. Justin Martyr (trans. Philip Schaff ) Ignatius Epistle to the Ephesians. Chapter 11. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 107.
- Ibid; Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho; Chapter 17. p. 320.
- Philip Schaff . Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers: 212: Leo the Great & Gregory the Great. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. (1885). p. 317.
- John Chrysostom. Homily 8:3.10.
- Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Th eir Lies, cited in Michael. Robert. “Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews,” Encounter 46 (Autumn 1985) No. 4:343-344.
- Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, 154, 167, 229, cited in Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 111.
- p. 113.
- p. 112.
- Michael, Robert. Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews, Encounter 46:4, (Autumn 1985). p. 342.
- p. 343.
- Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, cited in Michael. Robert. Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews, Encounter 46 (Autumn 1985) No. 4:343-344.
- Louis A. Rupercht Jr. This Tragic Gospel – How John Corrupted the Heart of Christianity. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (2008). p. 166.
- William R. Inge. Church of England Newspaper. August 4, 1944: cited in; Peter F. Wiener. Martin Luther-Hitler’s Spiritual Ancestor. Amer Atheist Press. (1999). inside cover.
- Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf. Hurst and Blackett Ltd. (1939). p. 171.
- Ronald Berger. Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach. Aldine De Gruyter. (2002). p.28; Paul Lawrence Rose. Revolutionary Antisemitism in Germany from Kant to Wagner. Princeton University Press. (1990); quoted in Berger. p. 28; Paul Johnson. A History of the Jews. HarperCollins Publishers. (1987). p. 242; Leon Poliakov. History of Anti-Semitism: From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews. University of Pennsylvania Press. (2003). p. 216; Michael Berenbaum. The World Must Know. Johns Hopkins University Press and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (1993, 2000). pp. 8–9.
- Martin Brecht. Martin Luther: The Preservation of the Church. Vol. 3. 1532-1546. Fortress Press. (1999). p. 351.